Fast and Fabulous Ideas to Decorate Your Garden

Here are 31 garden design ideas to give your landscape a pick-me-up.

By Heather Knowles


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Floating Flowers
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Spring Fiesta

    Add easy flair to your spring alfresco dining. Here's a super simple decoration: Drop a peony bloom into a margarita glass and top it with a tea light.

    Test Garden Tip: Don't want to bring your favorite glasses outside? Just grab some inexpensive glassware at your local dollar store.

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Second Life for Tools

    Well-worn garden tools find new life when fastened together into a teepee for climbing plants. This inexpensive trellis instantly adds country charm to any garden.

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Papasan Oasis

    Instead of a tree swing, how about hanging something more grown up (but equally fun)? This inverted papasan chair base serves as an innovative place to hang curtain panels, so you can create a sweet, shaded garden getaway.

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Into the Looking Glass

    Add an optical illusion to create depth to your garden room by nestling a mirror in between plants. Just fasten it on a fence and watch how your space seems to double.

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Alter Your Angle

    Look at everyday objects from new angles. Feed scoops turned upright, paired with candles in hurricane globes shed new light on garden illumination.

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Y'all Come Back Now

    Garden-themed pieces such as this trowel doorknocker add charm and interest to your landscape. Watch for great deals at antiques stores and flea markets.

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Frosty Luminaries

    These wintry votive holders are easy to make and add light to a snow-covered landscape. Created with flexible plastic bottles, poinsettia leaves frozen in the form give holiday color and offer a welcoming glow to guests.

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DIY Cold Frame

    Salvaged windows become a charming cold frame with a little DIY-ingenuity. Use reclaimed wood to complete the sides and keep your costs down -- then protect tender sprouts with style.

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Hovering Saucer

    A large terra-cotta saucer sits atop a tomato cage serving double-duty as a birdbath and trellis for climbing vines. To create an even more vibrant focal point, paint the saucer in your favorite color, or tie it into your garden's color scheme.

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Revive a Garden Bench

    Give an old, worn bench new life as a planter. Here, a simple shelf built over the seat is a perfect place for a collection of container plants.

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Revitalize a Path

    Rebar (or another heavy-duty metal rod) creates an uncommon archway entrance and gives climbing plants an unusual lift up. Think outside the arch for inexpensive materials at yard sales, Re-Stores, or from the depths of your garage.

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Driftwood Delight

    Make a statement with uncommon materials in your garden. Some driftwood and DIY handiwork crafted this spectacular arbor.

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Make Your Own Table

    This big container cracked. Instead of throwing it away, a resourceful homeowner turned it into a table, topping it with a concrete circle (though you could do the same with wood or flagstone).

    Test Garden Tip: Watch for deals on big pots like this -- retailers often mark them down dramatically or give them away when they break.

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Throw Tiebacks to the Wind

    Decorative curtain tiebacks find a new purpose outdoors. Attach them to fences, gazebos, or decks to help direct your vines and climbing roses.

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Decorate Your Fence

    Picket fences exude charm -- but you can make them even better with a little garden decor. Hanging a bouquet on it is the perfect way to add more interest and create a welcoming feel at your next garden party.

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Make a Living Gate

    Create the most interesting entrance on the block with a living gate. Here, a large feed tank on casters provides privacy without blocking off this gardener's driveway.

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Up, Up, and Away

    Who says your trellis has to look like everyone else's? This creative homeowner took premade cedar fence panels and attached them vertically with matching cedar planks, tying the trellis in to match her fencing.

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Textural Refinishes

    Antique furniture pieces add quirky architectural interest to a country garden. This table and chair have been "refinished" in moss rather than fabric and provide plenty of dinner-table conversation.

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Grate Ideas

    Antique metal vent covers, grates, and other indoor pieces move easily outdoors to add decorating interest to garden rooms of all types. This piece seems right at home hung on a wall of weathered paint.

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Don't Fence Me In

    This old wire garden fence moves up in life. By fastening it to the porch soffit, the fence serves both as a trellis for climbers and as architectural interest on an older home.

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Reuse a Fountain

    Many gardeners think a fountain is a perfect garden accent -- until it cracks or leaks. Then make it a charming planter for creeping plants such as sedum or thyme to spill over the edges and create the look of water.

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Waving Whimsy

    Gardens don't have to be serious -- especially during special events such as parties and garden walks. Show your fun side with simple decorations like these colorful garden gloves that wave hello to visitors.

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Ocean of Possibilities

    Get your creative groove on with some precast edging and a little paint. This homeowner saw a fish just dying to get out in the edging, so gave it a dash of color and set it free.

    Test Garden Tip: Use waterproof paint or a sealer so your masterpiece doesn't run after the first good rain.

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Tucked Away in a Drawer

    Inside the house things often get lost in drawers, but in the garden they jump out. This old drawer attached to a bed footboard becomes an adorable "window box" planter with very little work or money.

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Signature Touches

    Add some little touches, like this well-worn watering can attached to the picket fence, to put your signature on your garden. It also allows you more display options for well-loved collectibles that have served their purpose.

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Treasure Trove

    Don't limit yourself to "appropriate" garden décor. Feel free to use all kinds of amazing treasures such as this vintage umbrella stand holding hand tools. Unexpected finds help your garden stand out.

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Keep It Simple

    A simple design makes this garden feel more sophisticated. Pavers serve as both practical steppingstones and architectural interest. The well-thought-out plan makes the most of limited space.

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Room With a View

    Make a simple garden room with preformed garden arches and outdoor-friendly curtain panels. This getaway sports a bed for mid-day naps, but would also be comfortable with Adirondack chairs or a cafe table set for elegant picnics.

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Secret Spaces

    This homeowner utilized the narrow strip of land between houses to create an adorable courtyard. Even small, unattended bits of yard can become stunning, secret gardens.

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Showcase a Collection

    Garden collectibles need not be displayed behind glass. This watering can collection becomes a visual point of interest in this garden. It's a double-threat: pretty and practical!

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Hidden in Plain Sight

    Since you're stuck with it, here's a smart way to disguise that ugly utility box. A simple slipcover box made of bead board and topped with a birdhouse covers up the eyesore and draws nature into your yard.

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